London: Given Arsenal's reliance on Robin van Persie as the team emerges from its early season rut, Chelsea's priority will be to stifle the influence of the in-form Netherlands striker in Saturday's London derby at Stamford Bridge.
Van Persie has scored two goals in three of Arsenal's last four league matches to help Arsene Wenger's side climb away from the bottom of the table and into seventh place after nine games.
With Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leaving the Emirates in the summer, Van Persie stands alone as Arsenal's world-class talent in attack and the onus will be on the Dutchman to continue his recent scoring spree as Wenger's men attempt to win away for the first time this campaign.
"He is an excellent player and the team need him," Van Persie's strike partner Gervinho said. "You always have to have leaders in the group and he is a player who drags the team forward."
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas will appreciate that negating Van Persie - described by Wenger last week as the Premier League's best all-round striker - will go a long way to negating Arsenal in the stand out match this weekend.
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from its last league outing, an ill-tempered 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers in which two of its players - Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba - were red-carded and seven others booked.